May 2017 Preview Texas Parks & WIldlife magazine

Check up on Dave Roberts as he walks across Texas, check in with Westcave Preserve, and check out the rainbow-hued beauty of the male painted bunting. You'll also discover the state's best places to see raptors, visit Fort Richardson State Park, revisit the 1960s and more — all inside the May 2017 issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

Park Pick

Fort Richardson

Fort Richardson's rich history includes being home to a famous WWII force.

Wild Thing

Thrashing Mimic

The aptly named brown thrasher stirs up leaf litter for dinner and does impressions.

Picture This

An Artful Second Act

Photographer Carolyn Whiteside turns wildlife shots into works of beauty.

Travel

Monte Mucho's Laredo

Local bird watchers offer an insider's tour of the border town's avian hot spots

Wanderlist

Soaring Spots

Four 'sure thing' sites to watch hawks and other raptors.

Walk Across Texas

At 72, Dave Roberts' cross-country journey is hardly pedestrian

For several months, Dave Roberts traversed Texas and camped at state parks, beginning with Village Creek on the southeastern edge of the state. His travels took him on a zigzagged, park-studded path to the state's northeast and then to the southwest. His weaving itinerary would be impressive even if completed by car, but Roberts didn't drive — he traveled through Texas entirely on foot, carrying all he needed in a backpack.

Preserving Paradise

Why do we protect natural places? A walk through Westcave Preserve provides the answer.

Tucked away in what used to be undeveloped southwestern Travis County, 30 miles west of central Austin on 76 acres in the path of suburban sprawl, there's a shady emerald grotto cooled by a fern-lined waterfall, the silence punctuated only by peaceful drips and the buzzy trills of rare songbirds.

Westcave Preserve, where the majesty of the Texas Hill Country is on full display, is celebrating its 40th birthday.

"I love to hear the 'oohs' and 'ahhs' of our visitors when they see the grotto for the first time," says volunteer tour guide Beverly Gordon, a Texas Master Naturalist. "Many leave with the comment that it is the most beautiful place, and they didn't even know it was here or that there were places like it. They want to return and bring others."

Searching for the Rainbow Flyer

Treasured male painted buntings sport riotous plumage.

"Almost every birder who comes to South Texas has painted buntings at the top of his or her list," says Tim Brush, ornithologist at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg and author of Nesting Birds of a Tropical Frontier: The Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. "That doesn't mean they're easy to find."

Get Out

Hammock Camping

You can't get closer to the outdoors than sleeping in a hammock.

Want to read more? Download our app, subscribe, or pick up a copy on the newsstand today.

© 2017 Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.

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